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on July 18, 2001
Claudia Bishop creates a likeable character in Sarah Quilliam, called Quill, who is the proprietor of the Inn at Hemlock Falls. Her widowed sister Meg happens to be a whiz in the kitchen and the two team up to run the Inn and solve murders on the side. The focus of this book is a festival where the history of the area is re-enacted in a play which describes the witch trials which occurred in the 17th. century. The members of the Chamber of Commerce run the play and they are suspects in the murders which occur, along with the colorful characters who inhabit the Inn during the History Days festival. Quill's boyfriend is the sheriff and he tries to disuade her from being too nosey about the murders, but to no avail. She prides herself on her investigative talents, but she is not the first person in the Inn to deduce the identity of the killer. This is a well-written and enjoyable book.
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on May 24, 2016
great books, the entire series
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on February 17, 2015
Love, love, love Claudia Bishop. Arrived on time.
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on May 21, 2015
always like this author
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on August 17, 2015
First of all, I have to admit that "cozy" mysteries are not my favorites. However, I liked the premise for this series, two sisters running an inn, one of whom is the chef -- maybe because MY sister is a chef -- so I picked up this from the library in the 2-vol version containing A Taste for Murder and A Dash of Death. But I had to quit about a hundred pages in. The main characters have no particular appeal, the supporting players are stupidly annoying, nothing much goes on, and the straw that broke the camel's back was when the protagonist flat-out lied to her significant other (the sheriff in our small-town paradise) but it was OKAY because she CROSSED HER FINGERS BEHIND HER BACK. What are we, six years old here?

Why is it that in cozies authors create so many adults -- even their protagonists -- who act like stupid, bratty kids? What is appealing about this? We're supposed to LIKE these people? Somehow find them funny? Or understand how they can act so immaturely? I love mysteries, but this is total crap. I give her 2 stars because the writing itself is adequate, but it's wasted on no plot and awful characters.
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on December 19, 2010
Geez, I actually feel BAD giving this a one-star review--but, on the other hand, it deserves it. Too bad I spend the money on a "double edition" book that encompasses the first two books--I can't get passed 1/3 of the first one. These sisters are so dull, I just can't keep interested. They seem to portray "Quill" as though she's a "spitfire"--yet, EVERYONE treads all over her. And the sisters are worried about falling into the red--yet keep handing a demanding, nasty old lady FREE Nights at the hotel, FREE meals, HUGE discounts just b/c she complains. (I'm going to start complaining). And some "creepy" customer who continually makes sex remarks to Quill--she just simply ignores them, changes the subject. A "frenemy" from town, who constantly ridicules and belittles Quill IN FRONT OF CUSTOMERS--and yet, she just takes it.
I know they own a business, but ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!! Do you even WANT these people as patrons ANYWAY??? Groping you, continuallty handing them free stuff and being humiliated in front of the entire room of people????
WHERE IS THE GUTSY FEISTY BROAD no one better mess with?????

I know just about NOTHING about the sister who cooks (can't even remember her name) she's in the books so little and also seems bland--all I know is she likes to "cook" with raw eggs, which is a major turn off right there.

The sheriff is supposedly Quill's love interest .... chemistry = ZERO. He's barely in it the book (so far) and they hardly have any exchange and none of it is romantic or even witty.

I wanted to love this book since I love cooking, cozies, New England and Witch Trials from the 1600s ... but ... I cannot force myself to read any further. A big pass. Borrow this one from the library, if you're interested.
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on June 5, 2013
A Taste for Murder introduces sisters Sarah "Quill" and Meg Quilliam, proprietors of the Hemlock Falls Inn in small town New York. During the town's annual reenactment of a historic witchcraft trial, a series of "accidents" wind up leading to murder.

Bishop does an excellent job with her creation of Hemlock Falls and her description of the Inn. The entire book gives off the vibe of a cozy mystery in small town America. Fans of Denise Swanson's Scumble River Mysteries may also enjoy this series as A Taste for Murder really reminded me of her work. My only criticism is that this book did not feel like the first in a series. Prior events and relationships were alluded to which made me want to keep checking if I really did have the first book of the collection.

Overall, this was a good start to a new series and I'm looking forward to seeing where the next book, A Dash of Death, takes the Quilliam sisters and the residents of Hemlock Falls.
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on July 16, 2001
I have been going through mystery novels like water this summer. I had never heard of Claudia Bishop before, but was excited to get started on her Hemlock Falls series. I have to admit that I became less excited as I had to dredge my way through the first half of the book.
The main character in the book, Sarah "Quill" Quilliam, did not seem like a strong character. Her sidekick (her sister, Meg) was much more interesting. I have just finished reading Nancy Pickard and Diane Mott Davidson. You could see what made their main characters click. There were evident reasons why they were the way they were. I found that I couldn't find those reasons with Quill. I longed to understand what made her click. It seemed that Bishop spent more time explaining the sister Meg and other minor characters.
I do have to say that after I realized I wasn't going to understand Quill, and that I would just have to trust that different experiences shaped her- experiences that were to remain a mystery- I was able to get into the book a little more. The second half went much faster, but I was disappointed in the abrupt ending.
I will read the next book in the series, because I am interested to learn more about Quill. I suppose if I come away from that one as disappointed as I did from this one, I will start over with a new author and a new series.
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VINE VOICEon April 25, 2002
This book is fun. Looks like the begining of a series that features two sleuthing sisters who run Hemlock Falls Inn. Sarah owns the Inn and her sister, Meg is the chef. We are brought into the towns annual festival, whose highlight is a reenactment of 17th century witch trials, which ends in a mock excution of a witch by stones; which becomes all to real. The victim, a guest from the Inn. The murderer...anyone in town.... The sisters rely on their skill for catching culprits.
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on March 21, 2006
This book is fine if you're looking to kill time at the beach or on a plane. It's not great literature, but the plot moves along enough to keep your interest. A few too many extraneous characters to keep track of, but overall, not too bad.
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